The great medieval philosopher Thomas Aquinas is considered the best source of fundamental Christian doctrine. His contribution to the advancement of God’s ministry is monumental. As a gifted teacher, preacher, and theologian, his writings show the diverse knowledge of ethics, morals, and politics. Thomas’s teachings treat sacred doctrine as a single discipline and embraces the whole life of the church including worship as illustrated in the Summa Theologiae.
Thomas’s commentaries show the relevancy of faith and reason while maintaining the value of philosophy and the sciences. It was important for him to point out the facts of the natural world as proof of the existence of God. The scientific knowledge which is obtained through education or experience gave the framework of logic. This would lead to the wisdom of God and his perfection.
The Summa Theologica has three parts addressing God, creation, human person as a free moral individual, and of Christ as the way of man to God. According to this structure, all creatures are composed of a nature with the essence of God’s spirit which is life. It is important to note that Thomas’s explanation of human beings is to strive toward happiness, guided by law and grace. The ultimate gift to humanity was Christ, God made flesh.
Thomas Aquinas was a forward thinker and sustained a scientific thought process in his writings that covers a full range of virtue, reasoning, and a desire for higher moral development. The value that he brought with his comments on human morality paved the way for further research.
His thought process of understanding the material and spiritual aspects of creation is demonstrated in his writings. During his life and even after his death, his teachings and writings were under criticism and attack. This is to be expected during a time when doctrine often was presented in a fragmented manner. The fundamental truths such as the Trinity of Persons were maintained in addition to the revelation of divine attributes and creative power of God. It was important to preserve the basis of the Christian faith on the divinity of the Trinity. This has been and will continue to be the essence of the believe system and the main point that are highlighted in Thomas’s writings, teachings and preaching.
The coverage of information found in the Summa Theologian provides a thorough picture of the grandeur of God, the ability of man to analyze, and the plan of salvation through Christ Jesus. As a Christian philosopher, Thomas Aquinas delivered beautifully the description of God, humanity and Christ.
Barry, John et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).
ESV: study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2007.
F.L. Cross and Elizabeth A. Livingstone, eds., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 1625-1627.